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Posts Tagged ‘Drugs’

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The term “thinning the herd” comes to mind when I think about the private discussions ultra conservatives have regarding public health and ethics.  It’s messy business to mix our faith beliefs and mores with the public policy of a diverse nation and world.

In ranching, you evaluate your cattle to determine which ones will make it and you make hard decisions about the rest.  For humans, applying this concept is similar to Darwinian evolutionary theory or Survival of the Fittest.  The best America to me would be one in which everyone has a fair shot at a nice life.  Conversely, those who don’t grind hard or make poor decisions will deal with the consequences.  Of course, we could break out Jesus teachings on caring for the poor…your brethren.

In the 1980s, I had a feeling that some hardcore conservatives saw AIDS and Crack as thinning the herd.  Today, we are in the middle of a healthcare debate and Crack is replaced by opioids addiction.  When President Obama was trying to provide healthcare for as many people as possible, some thought “let the uninsured die”….thinning the herd.

Oh, they voted for Trump to Make America Great Again…more like Make America Hate Again.  With all of her issues and warts, America is now and has always been great.

But, wait.  President Trump breaks out a budget and some folks are surprise that they too have been eating at the public trough.  “Yea, lock up the crackhead and toss away the key in the 80s but this new drug has hit my family in the heartland…time for government funded treatment.”  We should pray that everyone breaks the chains of addiction.

Regarding abortion choice, the Clintons, the Obamas and I think abortions should be safe, legal and very rare.  Obviously, they are rare if fewer unwanted pregnancies occurred in the first place and I personally hope that people would explore options as early as possible.  But, it’s hard to impose your faith’s views on the nation as a whole.  If the founding fathers wanted to declare Christianity as the official religion of this nation, they would have.

The same people who are against early abortions support zero assistance to poor “born” babies and children.  They aren’t pro-life; they are just pro-birth.  If you are deep enough to conceptualize your unborn children, you should be compassionate enough toward them to have them when you can afford them.  If you never have the money or proper situation, you never have children.  I don’t know the answers.  To me, heaven sent every baby on earth down here but I also see people and think “that person needs a baby like a fish needs a bicycle.”

We need single-payer, universal coverage healthcare in America.  Look, the uninsured use the emergency room as a doctor’s office.  They wait until an easily treated issue becomes an expensive matter… $100 to $100,000 and the government still gets the bill.

I am also guilty of a little “thinning the herd” mentality.  My favorite blog post was “Fat On Food Stamps” because how did you get fat on public assistance.  Okay, I am over simplifying the situation but we need doctors to sound the alarm during annual physicals.  And if someone insist on unhealthy behavior, they dug their own grave… my goodness, I am a conservative Democrat.  I hope the progressives don’t thin the Democrat herd of me.

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What’s going on with immigration reform?  Former Governor Jeb Bush recently said that some illegal immigrants were committing an “act of love” when they came to this country for work to feed their families.  Bullfeathers!  To me, if you broke the law, you broke the law and we don’t need to start measuring the crime by looking at the reasons or because enforcement would be difficult.

 

My mind turns to the introduction of Biggie Smalls’ lyrics on “Juicy:” Yeah, this album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’, to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of that called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush-many-illegal-immigrants-come-out-of-an-act-of-love/

 

Well, Oh Jeb seems to say it’s okay to break a few laws if it’s for a good cause.  People who sell illegal drugs create an unregulated illicit trade.  While you are making money for your family, you might leave someone’s family as zombies.  We know dope zombies will do some of anything to feed their habits.  For the record, weed kills fewer people than alcohol and alcohol kills fewer than the calories from McDonalds.  But, legal is still legal.  Science should explore the medical benefits of marijuana but California Governor Jerry Brown was right about everyone being recreationally stoned all of the time.

 

“if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”  Gov. Jerry Brown, Meet the Press

Of course, we need more drug treatment and there are too many non-violent drug offenders in prison.  Actually, we should address the problems people are having at the root cause..before the desire to self-medical and tune-out.

America is the greatest freaking country ever and everyone wants to come here.  On a related note, people in hell want ice water…that doesn’t mean they will get any.  My problem with creating a path to citizenship for those people who are current here is centered on the fact that most of those people come from the two or third nations to our immediate south.  I am no xenophobia and I have a well-worn blue passport to prove it but maybe we should see about “us” first.

 

For the record, I live in an agriculture region and undocumented people do jobs than some folks born here refuse to do.  Man, as a congressional staffer, I did immigration and ag issues so I would be calls from Georgia that said, “why is the government giving out welfare when I am farmer who can’t get anyone to pick my crops.”

 

Also, I should mention that during college I had an understanding ear for those who felt that most of the American Southwest was stolen from Mexico.  Yea, the Mexicans were robbed; the Native Americans were really robbed and the Africans were super robbed.  You still can’t ignore our laws.  We shouldn’t fool ourselves; the Democrats and the Republicans are eyed that huge new voting bloc: new citizens and their cousins who are current citizens.  Jeb Bush is the non-latino Republican with the best relationship with that community.

 

If we are going to have an influx of new citizens, I want balance from around the world.  The stew should be seasoned with some South America, southeast Asia, the Caribbean, eastern Europe and a big dash from every corner of Africa.  Europe, Mexico and west Africa are the meat and potatoes that are currently simmering.

 

At the end of the day, we can’t ignore lawbreakers.  If that is the case, a guy who was serving time for numbers running should have been freed when the state created the lottery.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/02/gov-jerry-brown-on-legalized-marijuana-how-many-people-can-get-stoned-and-still-have-a-great-state/

 

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Abusing drugs might be at the root of most of southern communities’ problems.  However, we should consider drug abuse in its totality.  Yes, alcohol is a drug and many people drink in their (our) youth to mask the pain and disappointment of not having the life they wanted.  Everyone can’t be Miss. America, driving for NASCAR or score a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl.  You plan and life laughs—get over it.

I think that college kids and young adults smoke weed rather than drink alcohol because in many cases it is easier to get. First Lady Nancy Reagan said just say no to drugs and she was so right. In the 80s, crack dam near destroyed urban America.

As quiet as it is kept, prescription drug abuse or doctor shopping is tearing up another side of town and it is time to talk about it.  Secretary Colin Powell’s and Senator John McCain’s wives both had legal drug addiction problems.  If you have a car accident and are in pain, these drugs will help in the short term.  But, using them after the pain is gone is a mess.  The body has a habit forming need or a chemical dependency.  I don’t know all of the names of the drugs but it’s the stuff of mid-class women—the real desperate housewives.  These drugs are currency in certain circles.  Have you seen that show called Intervention?

Doctor shopping occurs when a person uses several doctors and the emergency room to get more and more of the stuff.  One pill “as directed” isn’t the norm.  People are taking several at one time or mixing them with alcohol for a dangerous cocktail.   An article in my local newspaper features comments on the subject from an emergency room doctor who attended undergrad with me.  The article says emergency room doctor shoppers are more likely to be White.  I don’t want to see anyone hooked on anything.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/oct/27/emergency-room-drug-seeking-a-growing-problem/

Local officials should work with state and federal governments to determine and address this problem because it is costly to the healthcare and criminal justice systems.  How much crime is drug related?  It actually cost more money to put someone in prison for a year than the average person earns in a year.

Here is the kicker: the SSI disability program treats drug abuse as a disability.  Huh?  Is that the classic definition of a vicious circle because the money from “the check” often funds more abuse.  What they really need is some sweet Jesus.

Getting to the root of the abuse problem will require giving people something positive to do.  While most local elected officials will say that utilities and fire trucks are their duties, they must work to attract more jobs, support the local education system and tell state and federal officials that funding positive activities and treatment programs is spending a dime now rather than spending a dollar later on jails.

Lastly, marijuana seems to have pain management benefits but we should pump the brakes on legalization; the experts on this matter should speak first.  We must remember that there was no real organized crime in America before prohibition.  The trafficking of illegal weed is a big problem but legalization might create a subculture of mellow zombies.

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I received the following Media Alert today about an important initiative that deals with one of the fastest-growing and addicting drugs ever to hit the state of Georgia and beyond. I took special notice to the two high profile Elected officials who have teamed up to unveil this statewide prevention campaign next week. They are: Republican U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson and Democratic U.S. Attorney General Thurbert Baker. If you think about it, most if not all, issues that our elected officials must address impact a variety of people. Even those that are considered Republican,  Democrat, Independent, Green, Liberterian or other. And no matter if one person voted for another. The prevalence of and the impact of Meth in Georgia is staggering and doesn’t target a particular political party of people. And such is the case with virtually every other social or  economic challenge facing us today. It sure would be nice, and would be much more effective, if all of our elected officials, from Washington, DC to our local municipalities can work together, on causes that address people (constituents), no matter what one’s political affiliation. This initiative is an indicator that it can happen. And I do realize that is not an isolated event. But it needs to happen much, much more.

Georgia Meth Project – Media Alert sent by Jackson Spaulding

The Georgia Meth Project will launch its statewide prevention campaign—and unveil its innovative television, print, and outdoor advertising—at the Georgia State Capitol on Monday, March 8, 2010.  The news conference will begin at 11 a.m.

The Honorable Johnny Isakson, United States Senator, and Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker will be joined by members of the Georgia Meth Project Advisory Council, substance abuse experts, and Georgia families whose lives have been impacted by Meth use.

The goal of the Georgia Meth Project is to significantly reduce first-time methamphetamine use in the state, and address the social and economic burden caused by Meth use in Georgia.

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